Back in Tokyo

As we reached Shibuya Station, we made our way to our new Airbnb place. The first impression was “let’s run away from here” but we gave it a chance. Thinking about it now, we should have done it.

The place was not really clean, to use a euphemism. The room had a couple of mattress put on the floor with a plaid on top of each, instead of a blanket. But we were definitely too tired and hungry to argue. We left our stuff there and went looking for a place where to have dinner.

There was a place we wanted to visit since we arrived in Tokyo: Genki – sushi. The name was quite explanatory. One of the top ranked cheap eats in Shibuya according to TripAdvisor. Nothing could have prepared us for what awaited us.

The place is one of the best engineering work of this century, where the performance indicator is the amount of human interaction needed to perform the task of feeding some hungry humans. They minimised this value, building a snake-shaped restaurant where each person has more or less an A4 paper of room at his disposal to consume his meal. 

The three food railways

Here comes the fun. The food is not served by employees, but using instead a three level magnetic operated rail. Basically, the customer orders his meal from the tablet located on the A4 paper sheet space he got assigned, magic forces materialise the slices of fish over the rice and promptly the food slides in front of his face (followed by a funny 8bit song). Overall it was a fun experience for us as we felt part of the Tokyo soul depicted in the documentaries. But we wanted more. 
After reading some articles about Tokyo nightlife we decided to take a peak at Roppongi. It was described as the most alive part if the city during the night, but none of the authors of those articles were probably non-American. 

As we took our first step out of the metro, we felt something was strange. Apparently the metro train was actually a modern piece of technology that teleported us straight in the heart of Brooklyn. Hookers, bouncers, and hip hop blasted from most of the clubs. Walking on the streets we were repeatedly asked in an native Bronx slang to “join the party”.
After few days of complete peace of mind we felt not safe anymore. We walked fast in the direction of the Tokyo tower, which was visible above the buildings. In 10 horrible minutes we were out of Roppongi.

Tokyo tower as seen while walking away from Roppongi

We kept walking for another 15 minutes and reached the Tokyo Tower. It looks a lot like a downsized Eiffel Tower, but with all the tall buildings placed all around, it has something more than its bigger version.

Tokyo Tower from below

After taking a couple of pictures we walked to the closest metro station and went back home.
We woke up quite early as we wanted to visit an Owl Cafe. Unfortunately when we got there it was still closed. We then tried to book the entrance in the number one Owl cafe in Tokyo, but there were no available ticket until the coming Sunday. No owls for us… Instead we made do with a more modest program: we went to visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, a free alternative to going up the Tokyo Tower.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

From the 48th floor we looked down on all the expanse of Tokyo. It is amazing how wide it is. We couldn’t make out the edge of the city. On the same floor where the observatory is, we found a souvenir shop. We were quite impressed to find panties for plastic bottles. Japan weirdness hits once again.

Breathtaking view from the Government Building
Higher than the surrounding skyscrapers

As lunch time was approaching we went to Ikebukuro, at 鳥良商店 南池袋店. For the first time since we were in Japan we didn’t have to eat prokaryotes! Here we ate chicken, both fried and grilled, and it was super tasty! Highly recommended!

Super yummy lunch

Done with lunch we walked to the local Pokemon Center. We didn’t really like it as it ended up being just an overpriced shop.

Charizard, Pikachu and… Saramon?

The only good point was the luxurious toilet next to it. We made good use of it…

The toilet controller

Relieved of our weights we took the metro to go visit the Imperial Palace. It was a delusion. We could not enter (nobody actually can) and as we were taking some nice photos of the sun setting over the palace garden, we were asked to leave.

Sunset on the Imperial Palace’s garden

We decided to pay another visit to Harajuku for a quick walk and visit some souvenir shops. As we were there we took another crepe at the same place where we did the first time we came here. After that we transferred to Akihabara to spend the evening.

Best crepes in Harajuku

Dwelling in Akihabara we saw a lot of maids on the road running away from anyone who was trying to take pictures of them.

Mega electronics shop in Akihabara

We decided to pay a visit to Don Quiote, a store selling everything, from food, to electronics, to sex toys… Here we found a plushie of a cat so detailed it had a butthole. Pure gold!

Tired, we went back home. On the way we decided to eat something, so we hit 7eleven and bought some sushi, cold hamburger and a “piadina”.

Tomorrow we will take our first Shinkansen! Can’t wait to ride the famous bullet train.

Stay tuned for the next post.

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